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The Two-Career Classic Traveller


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This is a thought experiment based on an observation I had made some years ago:

[FONT=arial,helvetica]The skills list tends to track with the number of careers available, at a ratio of approximately 5.3 : 1.[/FONT]

Amendment: due to the variety of things that characters have to do skillfully, and hinted at by the skill awards tables in LBB1, even counting for overlap in the skill receipts lists, it seems that there is a minimum skill list length of at least 12 skills. Now, 12 skills can support (12/5.3 = 2) 2 careers comfortably. So, what are the two careers, and what is the skill list?

Two-Career Careers

Until I hear better suggestions, I'll start with Trader and Soldier. "Soldier" is bound to be a conglomeration of Army, Navy, and Marines, while Trader is bound to drag in Merchants and Scouts.

Skill List

With generous cascading and consolidation, I have 14 skills:

Animal Handler
Broker (incl. Trader)
Bureaucrat (includes Admin, Diplomat)
Driver (type)
Environment (hostile, high-G, stealth, zero-G)
Fighter (forward obs, gun, blade, recon, etc)
Starship (astrogator, engineer, etc)
Tradesman (Electronics, Gravitics, Mechanic, etc)
Vacc Suit
World (survey, survival, sailor, language, etc)
I wonder if you could achieve similar results (as I understand, widening the skill list of a character) by applying the MT skill charts, with all their cascade skills, to CT Basic Chargen...

Maybe some skills should be changed if they don't exist in CT (as sensor ops, stealth, etc...), but IIRC few (if any) of those skills appear in MT basic Chargen tables, just cascade skills that allow you to choose them among others that exist in CT.

And as I only talk about changing the skill tables, not the CharGen tables, no more skills will be achieved, keeping the numbers as in CT (no special duty, no +1 skill if rolled 4 over needed, etc...).
What is Forensic and why is it important enough to make such an abbreviated skill list?

Animal Handler should probably be a cascade under Driving ... you are learning to drive a horse-drawn wagon.

I would personally aim for 12 skills ... that whole Traveller d6 mystique thing.
If we're going for a basic dyad, I'd select:

* Travellers (civilian [merchants, traders, adventuring noblemen, conartists, gamblers, balladeers], military [army, navy, marines; scouts?], true Travellers [itinerant, vagabond, ne'er-do-wells without the protection of guild, house or organisation]), religious, e.g. the benevolent Universal Brotherhood (or other vast interstellar organisations, like the evil Cyclan).

* Settled Folks (those who never or, if ever, rarely travel), local populations of various worlds, mostly NPCs. On many worlds the bulk will be the dirty, huddled masses in lowtowns begging, struggling to find work, dying in droves, most exploited by whatever wealthy population exists. Basically Settled Folks will be divided into the Haves and Have-Nots.

Contrary to the BtB/RAW method, I like the idea of a pool of points for skill distribution. For the first group, arguably they would be granted FAR more skill points to distribute than the latter. For the most part the Settled Folks would be given a paltry number of points, augmented by increasing TL level of the planet, or region of the planet.

plan a) 1 point only, for the truly hopeless, doomed types.
plan b) 1D-1, minimum 1, for low-TL planets
plan c) 1D for intermediate TL worlds
plan d) 1D+1 for higher TLs.

anything goes, really. Let's start with, say, 2D (7 points average), 3D (10.5 points average), 4D (14 points average), and 5D (17.5 average) for the upper limit, depending upon age, number of terms, career path, etc.
Let me clarify, Shapeshifter. Careers are things that players would choose for their characters. Are you thinking that 50% of the players would choose "Settled folks" as a career?
Let me clarify, Shapeshifter. Careers are things that players would choose for their characters. Are you thinking that 50% of the players would choose "Settled folks" as a career?

It's your "thought experiment". Do as you see fit. I was merely making casual ruminations and posting them, not imposing mandates. Carry on. In the future any misunderstandings can be avoided by simply stating in your first post "ShapeShifter is not allowed to post here!" and I will comply. :)
Well met, sir. And wilco on the No Shapeshifters Allowed sign, if I ever find it's needed. But if I've stepped over the line, my apologies. Or if you prefer, meson guns at fifty paces on the field of honor?
Probably going to play on one of typical career dichotomies. Either Military/Civilian or Spacer/Planetary, or Technical/Social. Could incorporate all three if you get creative with specialities, i.e.:

Military (Spacer)
Military (Planetary)
Civilian (Technical)
Civilian (Social)


Spacer (Military)
Spacer (Civilian)
Planetary (Technical)
Planetary (Social)

EDIT: Oh wait, this is CT, meaning no specialities.
EDIT2: From the purely gamist point of view, how do we want our PCs to differ from each other for the maximum enjoyability of the game? For example, I prefer that characters all have moderate combat skill rather than one being combat expert and others being noncombatants. Neither do I want any characters to become complete bystanders in shipboard activity. So if I had to pick a dichotomy, it would be technical/social. Sprinkle both with moderate chance of combat and spacer skills and you're set.
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Animal Handler should probably be a cascade under Driving ... you are learning to drive a horse-drawn wagon.

When I think of Animal Handler, I do not think of wagons, I think of pack animals. The follow comments come from a lecture given to aspiring Quartermaster officers by H. W. Daly in 1917, who was at that time the Chief Packer, Quartermaster Corps, and who wrote some of the first Pack Transport manuals.

The inventive genius of man has developed the use of the wheel in its application to steam, gasoline, and electric power, and to facilitate travel by such means, we build railroads and roadways, but in mountainous sections not approachable for wheel transportation we employ the animal burden.

This we term pack transportation, and by the average man outside of the Army is not well understood. No doubt you have seen pictures of camels in caravans, loaded with commerce, crossing the plains and deserts of Asiatic countries, each animal attended by a caravaneer, and usually seated on top of the burden, directing the travel of the animal.

In the United States, in lieu of the camel, we employ the burro and the mule, as best adapted to mountainous travel, and when in numbers, instead of using the word caravan, we employ the words pack train.

As the burro in its travel, by natural instinct, follows in the step of its' fellow, the mule being a close relation has inherited this peculiar trait.

Another peculiarity of the mule is its attachment for the dam or horse kind; all animal nature has a fondness for the mother, and the mule is no exception; the fact is, it shows an unusual degree of attachment and plays no favorites as to sex. Due to this fact man selects the horse, for obvious reasons, as best adapted to lead a train of pack mules.

This quote covers 4 of the principal pack animals: the camel, burro, mule, and horse. Additional animals used for pack purposes include the ox or bullock, the elephant, the llama, and in the Far North, the reindeer.

While Driving should have the option of s sub-skill of animal-drawn vehicles, Animal Handler should be a totally separate skill.
Originally Posted by mike wightman
Would herding animals also fall under the auspices of animal handler skill?

It should. The question is whether the sheepdog is assisting you or you are assisting the sheepdog.

More likely you are getting in the way of the sheep dog.

If you are going to have an Animal Handler skill, then you need some subsets. The most probable ones are Animal Herder, Animal Packer (pack transport), and Animal Driver (wagon transport).

Animal Herder would be the ability to move groups of animals in a controlled manner from one location to another.

Animal Packer would be the ability to utilize animals to move material from one location to another without the use of wheeled or sled transport.

Animal Driver would be the ability to utilize animals to pull wheeled or sled vehicles to move material from one location to another.

Note, both the Animal Packer and Animal Driver should have the Animal Herder skill at a level one or two levels below the primary skill. Packers and Drivers are going to have to have some herding ability to manage their pack or draft teams.

Animal Herders may have some Pack or Driver ability, but not as an automatic part of their skill. Someone who is expert an managing sheep or goats or the equivalent on another planet does not necessarily have any idea of how to use them for pack transport or as draught animals.

I did forget to mention that in Jim Corbett's books on hunting man-eating tigers and leopards in India, he does repeatedly mention the use of goats in India as light pack animals. Also, large dogs were used in England to pull light carts for personal transportation, along with the Eskimo sled dog.
Per the rules in JTAS 19, Animal Handling is a collection of at least 4 skills... and is thus a cascade.
Guard/Hunting Beasts

Note that Herding explicitly includes pack animals, especially in large groups.

Riding also explicitly includes Pack and Draft animals, as well as riding animals. "It is partly the ability to control and command "transport" animals, and partly the ability to remain on such creature's backs in moments of stress." It also is DM -1 per 2 animals over 2... The implication is that the Riding skill applies to no more than a single wagon's team.

Note that the referee text for both is worded such that the unskilled penalty is "no animal handling skill" rather than "No herding skill" or "No riding skill". (Guard/Hunting and Falconry are not so forgiving, but will avoid the unskilled penalty on Herding and Riding.)

The article also sets breathable atmosphere and planetbound career as requirements, and allows the following substitutions by making the indicated 1D save:
Hunting (if level 1+ or Noble): Guard/Hunting Beast (3+), Falconry (4+)
survival, recon, leader, or hunting (only if barbarian or planetbound noble): herding (5+)
Vehicle: Riding (auto)
Hmm, a Jockey is an excellent rider, but I would hate to see one of them try to either pack a mule, harness and handle a team of 6 mules or a yoke of oxen, or try to herd a bunch of irritable Holsteins, much less a herd of Texas Longhorns or the equivalent. I have worked with the Holsteins. They do not like to move when on fresh new alfalfa pasture.

For that matter, a Jockey might be fantastic on a horse, but I would not be too terribly inclined to trust him trying to handle an Elephant. Sir Samuel Baker in his book, Wild Beasts and Their Ways, has quite a bit to say about handling elephants, as does Garnet Wolseley in his book, A Soldier's Pocket Book for Field Service, particularly the 1886 edition.

As for Falconry having any cross-over to handling pack teams or wagon teams, I have a large problem suspending my disbelief over that. Pretty much the same thing for Guard/Hunting animals.

Note, I do have the JTAS article, purchased as a download from DriveThruRPG. I strongly disagree with it.